Physics in Everyday Life: the Secret of the Roller Coaster

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Everything in our daily lives involves physics, everyone uses basic physics concepts to navigate everyday life, and it interacts our daily life actions from the time we wake till time we go to bed. Physics governs our life when understandings the physical world laws and rules. People like to try new adventures and Roller coasters are a common sight at most parks since they grab the visitors’ attention, And their desire to experience high speed and the steep twists In this assignment I will explain how physics is involved in roller coasters and how does roller coasters work .

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There’s no magic involved with these fantastic and fun to ride creations, it’s all about the existence of forces and laws in every movement. Starting from the kinetic energy to the inertia, roller coasters are intricate engineering marvels. Roller coasters are moved by the forces of inertia force and earth gravity. The thrills of a roller coaster ride comes from the forces that the rider feels. Force, in physics is a thing that acts on an object causing a change in the object’s velocity. The physics is not only involve in the roller coaster cart it is also involved in the structure therefore, the engines and the roller-coaster designers consider the gravity forces in their work for example they would keep in their mind that : if the roller-coaster cart was on the top of coaster hill Gravity will cause the coaster’s speed to increase until it reaches the bottom of the hill, so they would build in some brakes to reduce the speed at the end and a smooth twist so the people don’t get hurt . A roller coaster is similar to a train, it consists of a series of connected carts that move on tracks. But unlike the train, a roller coaster doesn’t engine or power source of its own. Roller coaster ride are straight and flat—usually just those segments that shows end of one ride and the beginning of another. The rest of the coaster route is generally composed of dips and hills. Most rollercoasters consist of high speeds ,360 loops, banked turns and hills reaching extreme heights and so, most of the parks are building faster and more complex roller coasters to increase the fun, but the fundamental principles at work remain the same. Many principles of physics are used to make the riders feel like they are experiencing a thrilling and dangerous ride.

A motor does the work to get the cart up to the top of the first hill and as it moves upwards the hill, the coaster stores more and more potential energy. The potential energy is turned into kinetic energy as the gravity force pulls it down the first hill. Further the cart goes down the hill, the more the velocity, and the greater potential energy is changed into kinetic energy. The ride is in the fastest speed at the bottom of the hill because more potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy. When the coaster cart ascends to the next hill, the kinetic energy is changed to potential energy and the cart slows down. The higher the cart goes, the more energy is changed and so , it feels that the cart is slowing down. The total energy doesn’t increases nor it decreases; it only changes from a form to the other. But, some energy is wasted due to friction. In the loop upside down design which most of the high speed roller coasters are, the inertia helps to keep the riders in their seats. Although the gravity pulls the rider toward the earth, at the top the acceleration force is much stronger than gravity and it pulls the cart upwards, against gravity. The loop must be elliptical, rather than a full perfect circle, otherwise the centripetal force would be strong for safety and comfort.

The Roller coasters work in harmony with the values of gravity and momentum to pull riders cart up and down in sharp and steep turns and turns. At the beginning of the journey, the cart with the help of a tanker is pulled over the iron track to a high point after that the gravity pulls the train down to a certain speed by km/h. However, the ring in the serpentine train is not circular but comes in the form of an inverse drop. It creates central force that triumphs over gravity, allowing the roller coaster train and passengers to stay on their planed path. Moreover, there is unreal force called centrifugal force, it is caused by inertia when the cart moves at a turn, this movement is called the circular motion and the force is activated towards the center of the channel created by the train path and it push the force in case the train turns towards the track and prevent it to change track or fall. Also, at a certain point, during the diversion, the maximum speed must be touched so that the real force is strong enough to overcome gravity and stop passengers from falling off the train. Moreover, the momentum is a very important thing in roller coaster traffic. It is important that the momentum is strong enough not to stop the carts in the middle of the journey and also we can say that it is important that the kinetic energy at the end of the landing is too large to allow speed and momentum to allow the carts to complete the serpentine course.

In roller coasters the carts starts to move from a constant rail and moves with the help of the rail motor to the top of the hill then, continue to land and climb, and each peak is lesser than the earlier ones, and the movement of these vehicles contains two types of physical concepts, specifically the laws of mechanical movement, forces, and energy. The energy is used to pull the serpent to the top of the hill and this energy does not disappear simply. Since an object that is in motion tends to stay in motion, the coaster car will maintain a forward velocity even when it is moving up the track, opposite the force of gravity.

The typical roller coaster works by gravity, There are no motors used to power the coaster cart during the ride. But how would a roller coaster work if there is no motor that produces the power to move the roller coaster? It’s simple the roller coaster starting from rest, it simply descends down a steep hill, and converts the stored gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy, by gaining speed. The main type of acceleration on a roller coaster is centripetal acceleration. This type of acceleration can produce strong gravitational forces, which can either push the rider into their seat or make them feel like they are going to fly out of it.

What do the roller coaster riders would experience in a coaster cart that has no engines, motors and works only with the forces? The riders experience two forces, gravity, or weight, and the force of the roller coaster itself, is known as normal force and they would experience speed and stability.

Finally, physics ubiquitous in everyday life and involved in everything that we can think of, almost everything we use are physics. Due to physics everything became clear and well explained. Forces, inertia, motions and all of their roles are explained and related to our daily lives. People invented cars, boats, plains and roller coasters with the help of physics. 

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